I came upon a realization lately - there seems to be a common thread to…
Oh what a year it’s been! We all need some form of comfort, especially this year. Let me share my special gift to you; my hand-painted Santa Canvas. I hope his eyes can reassure you that better times are coming…
My Santa’s History
I like to keep my Christmas decorating simple and unique. I hang a large painted canvas banner of a friendly Santa with a spot light at my house. My old Santa canvas has worn out over the many years, so it was time to make another one. And to make it extra special I am willing to share him with you all! You can download the PDF file and take it to a print shop to have your own banner made!
This Santa is an original painting by your’s truly – ME! It is sized at 28″ x 39.5″. I do not usually sell my artwork but you can have a copy for you own use (distribution without approval is prohibited)
To ‘design’ the image I combined a lot of reference from old vintage Santas, and drew it in stages and layering on my iPad pro. Since I am trained as an Illustrator I love drawing. Drawing digitally feels different but has so many bonuses to be able to try different things. Could you even tell that it was not pencil?! The software that I used in this case was ProCreate which is really reasonable as well.
How to enlarge:
To transfer any image onto a large canvas (here it is 28″ x 39.5″) you can do one of a few things. You could use a projector to ‘shine’ the picture onto the canvas and trace it. Or, you could print a lot of pages and then use a ‘carbon paper’ method to retrace it onto the canvas. But the one that goes easily and quickly is the method of using a grid of squares.
Notice the squares above on the image? See the grid on the original image, dividing into equal sized squares. I have 4″ squares on the canvas, 7 across and about 9 vertically. It really is quite easy to now draw what you see in each small square from the drawing onto the canvas. This is an age-old technique for sizing and works quite well. Trust me, yours eyes are pretty good at working each square bit by bit…
I also have a video in the works but here are the painted stages. To give the usual cotton canvas a good surface I used an exterior paint and mixed in a bit of colour for having a colour other than white. Starting with a BIG area of white to cover seems very intimidating so I like to use a mid-tone. Then the white AND the darks stand out.
I know everyone likes to say they have no talent… (eye roll) but I believe if you really really want to, you could learn & learn & get better! I teach drawing to young adukts and half my battle is to inspire them to persevere! Yes, there is always a stage when you think; it doesn’t look great, but you need to ‘stay the course’ and have faith that it will turn out great.
I know; I am used to that feeling after so many years of drawing and painting! It will look worse before it looks better! An accomplished athlete did not just happen to be born that way; it took many many years of training, art is very similar. Some of the most accomplished artsits say the same thing.
I am using acrylic paint which is quite fluid and easy to mix. I try to NOT use the black to darken colours as it will just ‘kill’ the colour. It is good idea to understand the colour wheel. Using colours that are across from the colour to shade will make darker and cooler versions of them for shading.
This fellow is ALL about the eyes! I know I will have to get quite ‘nit-picky’ with them. That is my nature; to be very detail oriented. I can’t really help that, and I accept it.
It’s getting there! ‘And it always takes longer than I think! But, it’s very relaxing and therapeutic to work slowly and quietly on something special.
Those eyes keep looking right back at me…
Santa is supposed to be jolly, not so scary, even though all the kids cry in his lap.
Making white hair and fur is actually fun, just do not shade it too darkly or it will look dirty!
Oh, the eyes!
This fellow is all about the eyes! They need to be showing ‘wisdom’ and ‘comfort’, trying to say ‘It’s going to get better I promise’.
Oh dear, I think there is a weird thing happening, I think I see my fathers eyes in there somehow… But that’s ok. They were lovingly comforting.
Yes, It took a while to ‘futz’ on small details which I always swear I won’t but I can’t stop my self. Oh well, I’m happy with it! I think…
Yes, being an artist means you are always assessing visually! I often will place a painting where I can look at it for a while so I can look for tings that need some ‘adjustment’.
I hang it on a metal post that has arms to hold a loop on each side that was sewn on. The print shops often offer a grommet to be able to hand outside banners. Maybe this Hand-Painted Santa will add some cheer to your place as well…
I hope you all are safe and have the support of family and friends, whether near or far. I hope this will give you some comfort as it’s painted from the heart…
Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays!